The second class of fellows selected to participate in the Virginia Agriculture Leaders Obtaining Results program fellowship have just completed the fourth of twelve seminars. The third and fourth seminars, held in the Shenandoah Valley and Richmond respectively, focused on communication, legislative advocacy, and policy development.
In January, VALOR fellows traveled to the “Valley” where they had the opportunity to interface with producers and agribusinesses who are capitalizing on opportunities in Virginia’s diverse agricultural economy. The focus of the seminar was communication and one activity designed to help participants better tell the story of agriculture was media training and mock interviews with Amy Roscher, host of Virginia Farming on WPVT in Harrisonburg.
Fellow Tim Durham said, “Our recent training at WVPT was especially informative. And while it’s often framed as giving the proper ‘spin’ on an issue, it’s more nuanced than that – it’s simply telling your story as a farmer. And as a farmer, you have eminent credibility.”
In addition, VALOR Class II had the opportunity to interface with VALOR Class I during the January seminar. In his reflection blog, Fellow Adam Shiflett wrote, “I think this program Seminar was more about communication in our industry than any of us thought. We all need to make sure that we are communicating what we learn as VALOR fellows on to other people in our agriculture businesses and companies, and when we get the chance, to the next VALOR class. I think we forget that sometimes and it is very important to pass on what we are learning so more people can benefit.”
This point was reinforced with an appreciative interview session with established industry leaders, in which attendees shared personal stories and testimony about legacy leadership.